Foreign spending

I just got an email from Virgin Money and wonder if the same applies to Starling? I would assume so, though I don’t remember reading anything from them about this.

Mastercard® has altered the way it handles foreign transactions when you spend money abroad. From 11 August, your purchases and cash advances will normally be converted to pounds sterling on the same day. This means you don’t need to worry about a change to the exchange rate after you spend.

When you bought something in another currency previously, it would be converted using the exchange rate on the day it left your account. This could have been a few days after your purchase.

This would be a great change as I often see a few extra pence leave my account a few days later, which screws up my round-ups!


Yes, I must admit I’ve never really liked the potential for a transaction to change somewhere between it going from an ‘unsettled’ transaction to ‘settled’.

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What exchange rate will be used on weekends then?

Presumably the closing rate on Friday?

I wouldn’t mind the few pence difference but it screws with roundups. I’m proper OCD about having anything other than zero pence on my balance these days :joy: When they take an extra 3p I immediately have to move 97p to my coin jar!


By ‘eck Dan, that’s on a whole new level. Round-ups on your round-ups.


I thought I was the only one who does this…

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I’ve had confirmation back from Starling that this is now the case - the will be no change to the exchange rate between authorisation and settlement.


I’m curious, for example if you spend on a HSBC card that uses Mastercard, do you get the Mastercard rate + the non-sterling fee or do they give you the HSBC worst rate + the non-sterling fee? :smiley:

From reading the terms and conditions on my accounts which still charge abroad (yes, some people actually read them!) then it’s the Mastercard or Visa rate, then with added fees or percentage markup.

The terrible bank-generated rate is usually only for international transfers, and in my opinion you’d be crazy to ever do this without using a service like TransferWise or Revolut.

Anyway, good news on this change which has flown a little bit under the radar generally.

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Yes, but only skim-read!

Sorry Seb.
Julia isn’t real - the spammers are having one of their better days, unfortunately.


Thanks for keeping so on top of it, as always!

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